Thursday, April 14, 2016

Technology in a Christian School: Faithfulness in Exploring

30 years ago a box showed up in my boyhood home, with the intent that my brother and I might benefit from the exposure to something quite new – a simple home computer (pictured here). Later, as a grade nine student, my father challenged me to learn to properly type a certain number of words per minute, with a promise that a specific demonstrated speed would mean he would help me purchase a computer of my own. I believe that both of these decisions were based on a strong belief that the use of technology, specifically a computer, would likely be a very key part of our future and there would be great wisdom in ensuring that we were confident and proficient on this new horizon. Many times in my life I have appreciated the fortitude of those strategic parental decisions.

As principal I’m often asked by potential new LCES parents or simply others who are interested to know what our approach is to technology as part of learning. It is worth noting a few things about this question.

The quick association of technology in learning as being about computers, tablets, chromebooks pro-
jectors, and more is understandable, but we are wiser to realize that everything from scissors to pencil crayons and whiteboards to ball point pens are technology. We know that all of God’s world belongs to him, and all of it can be used in faithfulness or disobedience. Technology doesn’t live outside that
truth. Ours is the task of sorting out the difference and being intentional about choosing wisely.

Technology of any kind will never replace the value of excellent teaching. The presence of technology alone in a classroom or school doesn’t indicate students will learn any better or be any smarter. The value of a skilled and committed teacher who is able to match learning methods well with student’s abilities, interests, and development is as essential as always. Technology may be part of that picture.

These two matters understood, we do know that technology will be a part of children’s future and we
want to prepare them well for its opportunities and challenges. Our staff and teachers are able to do
things they would not otherwise be able to do with technology and we certainly are excited about many developments in the last number of years at LCES in this area. It is already exciting to consider some of the ways our students collaborate, investigate, and create in the digital platform they have available to them.

Our staff has constructed a document called “LCES E-Device Guidelines” that sets us out some clear
parameters for how we collectively as students, teachers, administration, and parents can work together with clarity. I encourage you to take a look if you have not already. SJ

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